Exploring the Use of Tweets and Word Clouds as Strategies in Educational Research


  • Dorothy Cooshna-Naik University of Mauritius




Word Clouds, Tweets, Educational research, Multimodal Texts


This paper presents personal insights and discussions on the exploration of specific strategies which relate to data collection and analysis used to support the focus group discussion data collection and preliminary analysis of a doctoral research entitled Undergraduate students’ experiences of learning with digital multimodal texts. The main objective of the doctoral research was to understand the different ways undergraduate students experienced learning with digital multimodal texts (DMTs) within the context of a history module included in their first-year programme of studies both as readers (consumers) and authors (producers). Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, written reflection accounts, a focus group discussion and consideration given to the DMT (a video) produced by the participants. The focus group discussion event included a hands-on task whereby participants were requested to write their views in response to a given prompt question in the form of tweets. Also, the written tweets were visualised as word clouds for the purpose of initial analysis. The findings reported in this paper, which are based on observation notes and investigation of the word clouds, suggest that the tweet-related, hands-on task acted as a good ice breaker, making the participants feel at ease and more relaxed about sharing their views amongst each other while eliciting discussions and fostering deeper thinking. Also, the word clouds were revealed to be an effective data visualisation tool allowing emerging and salient themes to stand out from the participants’ written tweets and reflections.

Author Biography

Dorothy Cooshna-Naik, University of Mauritius

Dorothy Cooshna-Naik, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer in visual communication at the Centre for Innovative and
Lifelong Learning (CILL) of the University of Mauritius. Her first degree is in Applied Arts. She holds her M.A.
from the University of Strasbourg, France and her Ph.D. from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South
Africa. Her research interest focuses on areas such as visual communication, computer mediated communication and pedagogies, alternative modes of assessment, multimedia learning and multimodal learning experiences and how emerging technologies and pedagogies can be leveraged to support and sustain teaching and learning at all level of education. In parallel, she has worked on several locally and internationally funded research projects. Email: d.cooshna@uom.ac.mu



How to Cite

Cooshna-Naik, D. (2022). Exploring the Use of Tweets and Word Clouds as Strategies in Educational Research . Journal of Learning for Development, 9(1), 89–103. https://doi.org/10.56059/jl4d.v9i1.541



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